Integrity, Compassion, Family, Responsibility, and Courage. These were the motivational values that I ranked as my top five during the activity at the most recent Honor’s community meeting. I really enjoyed the chance to sit, with twenty- five values spread out on the floor around me, take the time to read each one, and reflect on the significance that each holds in my life. In the end, Integrity and Compassion were the most important. However, I recognize that I will encounter experiences that will change what I value the most. Personal growth will be eagerly accepted. Although at times rooted in pain and hurt, transformation can also come from happiness and joy. I believe that embracing sadness can help provide perspective and shape how people appreciate the future. One quote that embodies this message is from Mary Oliver: “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” Encounters with people in my life have taught me that each person has a history, and has experienced things that are beyond his or her control. I believe that the world is harsh enough; it is not my place to make it worse. Thus, compassion is one of the main values that guides my actions.
Before I collaborate with others, I need to recognize my tendency to approach group work as a pacifying contributor. When I was younger, I loved to lead the way. As time has passed, I’ve found that I now wait. I try to read the group, and then volunteer my thoughts. Especially in collaborative efforts, I try to encourage everyone to participate and am cognizant of anything that I can do to make others more comfortable. I believe that everyone should have a sense of responsibility. If you say you are going to do something, it is important that you follow through. For me, power and recognition take a back seat to community, justice, and tolerance. I try to live by a quote by Maya Angelo. It reads: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”